Marvelina Barcelo is the co-director of the Transfer Center and a member of the iFALCON grant team.
Were you aware that many in-state private schools offer scholarships for transfer students both merit and non-merit based?
Were you aware that many out-of-state universities offer a tuition reduced rate for Californians referred to as Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)?
These days, the traditional transfer path to a local CSU is NO longer a typical conversation in a counseling appointment, so don’t be alarmed. Over 12,000 students who would normally have been admitted to the CSU’s were denied in the 2009-2010 academic year. This is not to suggest for you to set aside your goal of transfer to a CSU, but to THINK DIFFERENTLY. When counselors advise students to apply broadly, students should take this advice with a grain of salt. Recently, I heard the concept of the three-tiered list when it comes to students creating options in their college search. Essentially, students would attempt to identify nine schools for their college search. I thought it was a fantastic approach! The search would look something like this:
- Three Reach Colleges-Your academic record is slightly below the average admission profile for these schools from last year, but you have something extra to offer – outstanding leadership, community service, extra-curricular activities, portfolio, awesome essay, unique major, etc.
- Three Good Chance Colleges-Your academic record is at, or above, last year’s admission profile at these schools.
- Three Definite Colleges-Your academic record is well above last year’s admission profile at these schools.
Re–Organize your transfer process now by researching in-state private and out-of-state universities, in addition to your choices of CSU/UC’s, and include them in your long-term educational plan. You will find that these institutions may have those “clear cut” admissions requirements you are searching for at the moment.
As far as preparing for CSU/UC’s, it’s all about the grades. Never shoot for the minimum GPA: the higher the grades, the higher your chances of being admitted. If you are concerned with your educational expenses, remember two things:
- In higher education you can always cross systems and always consider applying for scholarships. An example of crossing systems would be a student transferring from a community college to a UC, then attending a CSU or private university for graduate school or vice versa.
- When researching in-state, private and out-of-state universities, make sure you are checking for Transfer Admissions as well as scholarships designated for transfer or for prospective students. Make sure you also visit the Transfer Center website and click the Private/Out of State tab for additional resources.
If you need more help, counselors are also available to assist you during a scheduled appointment. Below are some online resources:
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) schools:
College Source (online college database)